8 Thought-Provoking Quotes From the Surveillance vs. Privacy Debate

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A 1-Year-Old Magazine About Farming Is the Talk of the Media World

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Morbi augue risus, sodales nec orci vel, semper tincidunt tellus. Ut massa mauris, volutpat eu hendrerit ac, semper et magna. Phasellus at sem mi. Photo Credit: jmauerer

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Trends to Watch: Content 101

Content is King.

This was probably the first thing I heard when I started freelancing a few years ago. Back then, it was said in comparison to SEO or social media strategies. The theory went that if you produced good content, you were going to get traffic.

Well, things change quickly on the Internet. The saying is even more true these days, but not in quite the same ways.

Everywhere you look there is “content.” Videos, podcasts, Tweets, Facebook status updates, and plain old articles. There are “content companies” whose sole purpose is to manage or produce content. But, almost every savvy startup or company knows they have to figure out how to utilize content to bring in customers.

So, in the mess of content creation, curation, and syndication (and any other-tion you can think of), how do you know what’s what? What are the different kinds of content companies, and how do they make money?

Never fear. Here’s your brief, Content 101 rundown:


The Media

These are the companies that look a lot like traditional newspapers, just in the digital realm. They focus on reporting and storytelling, often in one vertical. In the startup space, for example, you have PandoDaily and TechCrunch. Nibletz also falls into this category. There are also some very interesting general journalism startups that are playing around with business models to keep more traditional journalism alive.

These companies deal with content in vastly different ways. Some focus on the quality of articles, often producing fewer, more expensive pieces. Others put out tons of articles that are shorter and quicker to read.

There are a variety of ways in which media companies get content in the first place. Some have a staff of writers who are paid to produce, similar to an old-style newsroom. Others solely publish unknown writers, often for free. Most use some hybrid of the two models.

How do they make money?

Good question. As in social media, ads are a big source of revenue for media companies. However, most are also exploring other streams like sponsorships, events, and subscriptions/paywalls. This is a huge source of disruption at the moment, and my guess is things will look very different in 20 years than they do even now.

The Platforms

As in everything else, lines are blurring between “media companies” and “media platforms,” but in general a platform company does not produce its own content. Medium is one example. Users hop online and write whatever they want. They don’t need to write consistently; no one’s looking for a blog theme or any kind of upkeep.

Longreads is another example of a platform, though it is used for curation. Users of the site post their favorite long-form journalism articles and essays from all over the place for the enjoyment of other users. Flipboard is another platform that takes your personal preferences into account as it curates news and other content.

Platforms are also working out new ways to make money. Longreads is a subscription service; users pay a small fee to read and recommend on the site. Medium, however, doesn’t really have revenue yet, and no one’s quite sure how they plan to produce some. Users rave about the beauty and simplicity of the design, so it’s hard to believe they’ll be stoked about ads appearing.

Besides the media companies and platform companies, content is growing in other sectors as well. Most e-commerce companies also have some kind of content to draw potential customers to their site. Big corporations are hiring editors and social media experts to manage the content they produce.

If content is king, it’s still anyone’s guess as to what his kingdom will ultimately look like. But, we can always be sure there’ll be stuff to read on the Internet.

Massachusetts Startup: Have You Heard Wins “ReThink Music” Startup Competition

from left: Rethink Music Genesis Project startup competition winners Adam Gottesfeld and Joey Seiler, co-founders of Have You Heard?; (photo: hyperbot)

Two Harvard Law School students, Joey Seiler and Adam Gottesfield and the startup they’ve founded called  “Have You Heard” have one a music startup competition sponsored by ReThink Music Berklee and Babson College. You may be wondering what studying and law have to do with this music based startup, well nothing, but it’s a great idea.

From my days in top 40 radio in medium and major markets the hardest thing for a music director in a radio station to do is actually listen to new music. On any given Tuesday (new music day) there are anywhere from 10-30 “priority” records that the record labels want to get airplay. In the 90’s there was a competition called the AIR competition (Active Industries Research) a company founded by Jonas Cash who founded the Billboard Airplay Monitor. Music directors and Program Directors at R&R reporting radio stations would compete every week to guess where a track would end up on the charts. At the end of the quarter prizes, including BMW’s and 30,000 in cash were awarded to those that got the most right.

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EXCLUSIVE: Los Angeles: 23 Year Old Woman Launches Smartzer, A Startup That Will Change Video Forever

smartzer, tv, kevin harrington, Karoline Gross, Nibletz

23 Year Old Karoline Gross Is The Founder Of The New Video Platform Smartzer (photo: K. Gross)

This story has wow written all over it and Nibletz, the voice of startups everywhere else has it first.

With all the innovation in video in the past few years we knew it was a matter of time before someone, some company or some startup would find a way to hot link or link map products in videos, like product placements, to actually make them clickable and then purchasable. We didn’t know it would be a 23 year old woman from Los Angeles that would do it. That’s exactly what Karoline Gross and her startup Smartzer are doing.

Imagine watching a movie or an episode of one of your favorite shows and seeing an iPad or some cool new iPad charging cradle you haven’t seen before. When the Smartzer officially launches this fall, and the video content is Smartzer enabled you will be able to click that iPad or iPad charger and see more in-depth information about the product or purchase it. This is what people like Kevin Harrington, CEO of “As Seen On TV” has been dreaming about.

When the technology launches producers will have to integrate the Smartzer system into their videos in order for it to work, but with the progress Gross has made so far, and the fact that she’s in Los Angeles meeting with studio executives all the time, it won’t be too long until we see this technology on the big three networks. You will be able to use your smartphone to watch tv and interact with tv  for more than just checking in and redeeming deals, you’ll be able to click, look and buy.

You like the jacket Ryan Seacrest is wearing on Idol, click, look, buy. You like the dress your favorite star is wearing on the red carpet, click, look buy. What about that song in Glee, click, look, buy. Yes we knew it was coming and Smartzer is setting the pace.

We got a chance to catch up with the busy 23 year old entrepreneur and here’s what she had to tell Nibletz about herself and her amazing startup:

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Miami Startup: YourListen Crosses 100,000 Audio Uploads

Audio sharing site Yourlisten.com, founded by Scott Goodman, hopes to become the audio version of Youtube. They are well on their way as they recently announced their 100,000th audio upload. That’s definitely not too shabby for an audio file sharing site not based in Silicon Valley, and having to deal with the fallout from sites like MegaUpload.

Yourlisten.com is a free user-generated network that allows flexibility for uploading just about any kind of audio file. You’ll find a variety of music, podcasts, ringtones, interviews, soundbytes and other audio files on Yourlisten.com. The user can share the audio on the site, with friends and across social networks.

You would be surprised at the types of audio files that you can find on yourlisten.com. It’s not the site of the day out there to replace sites like megaupload. There are a lot of spoken word poetry pieces, international interviews and songs by new and undiscovered artists. A quick perusing of the site found that WTOP radio in Washington DC (one of the top billing radio stations in the country) uses Yourlisten.com to host interviews for people to listen to if they miss them during the original broadcast.

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More Changes At AOL As Patch Editor In Chief Brian Farham Steps Down

There was actually positive news out of the AOL camp last week when it was announced that they were selling 800 patents to rival Microsoft for $1 billion dollars. That news was quickly overshadowed by the Facetagram announcement later in the day. The patent sale to Microsoft was a great move for AOL’s bottom line however there still seems to be trouble and disorganization in their media division, which is supposed to be their bread and butter.

The Blogsphere erupted with joy last week when Michael Arrington announced that he and Crunchfund partner MG Siegler would be participating at Tech Crunch Disrupt NY. Arrington will be the main interviewer and pseudo MC again, but this year there will be a lot less speculation swarming around him. Last year during Tech Crunch Disrupt NY Arrington’s removal from the company that he founded was just starting to bubble. Relief has been in the air knowing that the next Disrupt will be hosted by the man himself. Of course PandoDaily wasn’t the least bit excited about that.

With the TechCrunch/AOL/PandoDaily headlines taking center stage many missed the fact that AOL’s Editor In Chief of their Patch properties Brian Farham was stepping down. While on the surface it seems that Farnham was happy with the progress that Patch has made under his leadership, Forbes magazine was quick to point out that AOL recently hired a chief content officer for Patch which bumped Farham down to the number two position.

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Ford & Yahoo Team Up For Reality Show About Electric Cars

Being on the road in a Prius makes you really appreciate both the hybrid and the full on electric car. While traveling to cover startups in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Cameron and I saw charging stations out in front of local government office buildings, which was a breath of fresh air. We also brought you this story earlier this month about a NC startup that is re-inventing the charging station.

With all this talk about electric cars it’s no wonder that Ford has teamed up with Yahoo to release a web-based reality show about electric cars.

The new show called “Plugged In” will chronicle the lives of three two person teams driving the new Ford Focus electric. The teams will compete in scavenger hunt like challenges in 10 major cities including Los Angeles in New York, mostly on the east and west coast where electric cars are gaining popularity and where gas is over $4.00 per gallon and quickly approaching $5.00.

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Millennial Media Stock Opens With A Bang

Millennial Media, the largest independent mobile ad platform in the world, went public this morning on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol MM.  Millennial had said earlier on that they expected shares to go for between $9 and $11 at their IPO. Yesterday that number was revised to $11 to $13 per share. What happened today was nothing short of amazing.

The opening trade this morning on Millennial stock was $25 it was hovering around $26 per share around 10am eastern time this morning. It was at $25.16 at noon.

CNBC’s Jim Cramer has been talking up the mobile phone space saying that it’s the way of the future. That could be what’s driving the stock for the Baltimore based ad network.

They also have a financially sound business. Millennial did over $104 million in ad placements last year and have been on a steady trajectory of growth since being founded in 2006 by former Verizon VCast honcho Paul Palmeri.

Millennial Media’s stock story this morning has been raising some eyebrows. Yahoo advertising executive, Michael Katz, tweeted this morning:

Millennial Media’s marketcap is almost bigger than the actual Mobile Ad Maket [sic]. Tell me how this makes sense.

The Motley Fool this morning called Millennial Media “The mobile advertising play you’ve been waiting for”. Fool writer Rick Aristotle Munariz speculates that Millennial’s position as the second largest mobile ad player overall, and ahead of Apple’s mobile ad unit, may be driving the success of their IPO.

source: SAI


Charlotte Based Startup Rawporter Putting A New More Viable Spin On Citizen Journalism

Rawporter made a pretty nice impact at South By Southwest in Austin Texas earlier this month. This two person start up out of Charlotte NC is bringing a new concept to citizen reporting. With Rawporter, not only can a citizen report the news via video, they can also get paid for it.

Rawporter came about when friends and co-founders Kevin Davis and Rob Gaige were hanging out and then saw a horrible accident. Of course everyone on the scene of the accident had their camera phone out and were shooting the entire scene, but when they got home and turned on the 11:00 news, Gaige tells me that the only shot they had was the reporters stand up at a cleared scene.

Gaige and Davis knew that there had to be someway for those people who too that video, and the hundreds of thousands of people who take videos of incidents like this everyday, could both get sourced and make money.

Gaige has a background in marketing. Davis has a background in news radio, and then changed careers to marketing. They both met in the marketing department at Bank of America. As they see first hand that the biggest companies in the world are cutting back staff, and Davis knows that news media jobs are eliminated every day, citizen reporting can easily become a huge source for news stations.

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Is Microsoft Considering A Yahoo Purchase? Insider Says AOL To Come Apart

The word on the proverbial street is that by 2012 one of the internet giants either AOL or Yahoo will no longer be around. For a while it looked like Yahoo may be that company, however Yahoo’s chairman Roy Bostick put a brief end to those rumors by firing CEO Carol Bartz.  Immediately co-founder and board member Jerry Yang took the definitive saying that Yahoo was not for sale. Right after that announcement the Yahoo sale rumors heated up.

Nibble on after the break
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